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Report: NBA Creating Safety, Family Protocols for Projected July Return

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Something is finally clear in the uncertain NBA. Players believe they’re going to play games again this season. The obvious questions like how, where and when remain unanswered. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The NBA and NBPA are reportedly working on an agreement that would allow a "limited" number of family members to join players if the 2019-20 season resumes in a "bubble" format in Orlando, Florida.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported the two sides are still working on the details of when family would be allowed into the so-called bubble. It's likely the league will hold off on allowing family members until at least the "initial wave" of team eliminations happens, which would allow the NBA to limit potential exposure to the coronavirus.

Family members would be subject to the same safety and testing protocols as players and team officials who are staying in the facilities.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the NBA is working on "multi-phase medical/safety protocols." The league is tentatively planning to hold training camps in July before games begin late that month or in early August.

Commissioner Adam Silver will meet with the league's general managers Thursday and its Board of Governors on Friday, per ESPN's report. The league is not expected to make any announcement on its format for a return with several proposals still under consideration.

It's unlikely all 30 teams will make the trip to Orlando. ESPN noted one option under consideration is a "playoffs-plus idea that includes 20 to 24 teams." Other possibilities include a World Cup-style system that would have 20 teams and feature a first round of round-robin group play. The NBA could also move forward with a standard 16-game playoff format, though that generates the least potential for recouping lost revenue.

The situation is a work in progress but one the NBA needs to settle quickly. The league will need approval from the NBPA to make any changes to its schedule, and there is a bit of a time crunch if games are to begin by the end of July while giving players time to prepare.